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Await the Light

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‘Though evil comes I hope for good
And shall await the Light.’ – 'Ode to Light' by Meir ben Elijah

Meir ben Elijah (c. 13th Century) is England’s only medieval Hebrew poet and the first known poet of Norwich. He lived in the city and was among approximately 2,000 Jews exiled from England in 1290. We know next to nothing else about him: not his date of birth, what he looked like or how he spent his life in medieval England.

We can assume that Meir’s poems were written in the second half of the 13th century, but it is not known what happened to them over the following 650 years. Twenty piyyutim – poems of lament, written in Hebrew – by Meir were discovered in the 1880s and the ancient manuscripts are now preserved in Rome.

Meir’s writing demonstrates a profound love of God and a strong belief that God would not abandon his people. The poems are also inspired by a deeply felt compassion for his fellow Jews and the need to instil hope as they verged on despair. ‘Ode to Light’ is one of the most powerful of these poems.

By purchasing a print, you are donating towards NCW’s 'Escalator Needs Your Help' campaign. Your money will go towards supporting early-career writers in the East of England whose voices are underrepresented on UK bookshelves. To read more about the campaign click here.

Printed by Well Nice, an independent screen printing studio based in beautiful Norwich, UK.

A5 print


UK postage & packaging (free)
European postage & packaging (£4.00)
Worldwide postage & packaging (£5.75)

A4 print


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European postage & packaging (£4.00)
Worldwide postage & packaging (£5.75)

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